Mallett: 'Home ground' calls went against Bulls
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett believes the Bulls can feel aggrieved by some of the refereeing decisions in their 35-28 Super Rugby quarter-final defeat to the Hurricanes in Wellington over the weekend.
Speaking in the SuperSport studio afterwards, Mallett said the hosts benefited from with some calls because they were playing at home.
"Some of the decisions, particularly in the second half, showed what home ground advantage gives. It put pressure on the referee to make certain calls," Mallett said.
Australia's Nic Berry was in charge of the match at Westpac Stadium.
Mallett gave examples where he felt the Bulls were hard done by: "In the second half, Marco van Staden was within his rights to steal that ball because he was on his feet and supporting his own body weight. Then you get Ardie Savea doing exactly the same thing. They were equivalent steals, but Van Staden got penalised and the Hurricanes got three points as a result. Savea got the benefit of the steal and the Hurricanes got the release they needed under pressure.
"Another call was the Hurricanes No 16 Asafo Aumua, who is in the line, goes in (for a tackle) and doesn't use his arm at all. Instead, his shoulder hits the neck of Simphiwe Matanzima, who then knocks the ball on and suddenly the Hurricanes have an attacking opportunity. But the TMO (Glenn Newman), who happens to be a home TMO, will never come back to that situation.
"And this is important because it was a no-arms shoulder charge, and it not only caused Matanzima to drop the ball, it was high around the neck area and reckless. If that was brought to the attention of the referee by the TMO, the referee would have had to give - at a minimum - a yellow card and if there was proof he used force, which he did, that could have been a red card.”
Mallett also called for the entire officiating panel to be neutral.
"I know it's expensive and costly, but for the integrity of the competition, it would be better. Those are the type of key decisions that are the difference between a win and a loss when you're playing away from home."